Student Union Dining Hall

New Resident-Student Dining Facility Opens in Student Union

Students, faculty, and staff can enjoy expanded dining options and menu choices this semester when a new marché, or market, style dining facility opens tomorrow in the space of the old student cafeteria off the main lobby of the Campbell Student Union.

All members of the campus and local community are invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, August 29, hosted by President Muriel A. Howard. New York State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, ’92, who helped jump-start Student Union dining space renovations, will be a featured speaker.

While the new dining facility has been designed to meet the needs of resident students, all students, as well as faculty and staff, may dine in this new facility. A fee of $7.99 for lunch, $11.99 for dinner, or use of a meal-plan card at the door buys all you can eat from a range of stations where food is prepared as ordered: grill, vegetarian, international, main entre, and pizza. There is also an extensive salad bar and a dessert area complete with soft-serve ice cream.

“With the opening of this new dining facility, we have dramatically improved our dining options,” said Hal Payne, vice president for student affairs. “We have also provided areas for small group meetings.” Completion of this project will render the Social Hall, previously a resident-student dining site, available for student programming. Included within this new facility, which encompasses 11,000 square feet and seats 400, are two private dining rooms that can be opened to the overall space or closed for group meetings. Each room seats about 45 people. A reservation process is being developed.

In contrast to bold, bright colors that define the dining center on the north side of the Student Union, this newer facility provides a more subdued dining environment. Natural materials—wood, granite, and tile—in subtle colors contribute to the relaxed atmosphere. Floor-to-ceiling windows that bring in natural light and frame views of trees in the Quad complete the effect. Plans to make the upper terrace available for dining are being considered.

Design specifications and menu choices were influenced by site visits to other campuses and recommendations from students. United Students Government (USG) members attended design meetings, and many students expressed opinions on concept designs displayed for that purpose in the Student Union.

Renovation of Student Union dining spaces was initially projected at $7.3 million. Both projects came in at a combined cost of about $6.5 million. Sodexho contributed $1 million, and the SUNY capital budget fund and the State University Construction Fund provided the rest. The entire upgrade began in 2006 when Payne and USG leaders contacted Hoyt about the need for upgraded dining facilities in the Student Union.

Architectural firm BHNT served as design and research consultants on the renovation. Patrick Development acted as general contractor. Buffalo Hotel Supply provided the kitchen equipment.

“We are deeply grateful for the expertise, generosity, and foresight of the many people who helped make this much-needed renovation possible,” Payne said.

The dining center will be open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, brunch will be offered from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., followed by dinner from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.